On-Site PhD conferral mrs. Charlotte C.M. van Laake-Geelen
Supervisors: Prof.dr. R.J.E.M. Smeets, Prof.dr. J.A. Verbunt
Co-supervisor: Dr. M.E.J.B. Goossens
Key words: diabetes, neuropathy, nerve pain, quality of life, physical activity, rehabilitation
"Living with Painful Dabetic Neuropathy: Physical Activity and Quality of Life"
Up to 25-50% of the persons with diabetes and neuropathy suffer from chronic neuropathic pain (painful diabetic neuropathy, PDN). This thesis showed that PDN can have far reaching consequences for the daily lives of these persons. Studies that used interviews and questionnaires revealed that patients with PDN can suffer from various fears that can limit them to be active in daily life and put a great strain on their quality of life. A new questionnaire was developed that can help the caregiver to identify these PDN related fears more easily. A new rehabilitation treatment was developed that aims to help persons with PDN to get more physically active, despite the pain. The rehabilitation treatment was specifically designed and adapted to the needs and risks of persons with diabetes and neuropathy (balance impairments, risk of hypoglycemia, prevention of pressure ulcers). The rehabilitation treatment seems promising for a subgroup of persons with PDN. Future studies are needed to optimize the treatment and make it suitable for all persons with diabetes and neuropathic pain.